Categories Anthropology IAnthropology II

I & II Anthropology and a pandemic- Coronacene epoch


The COVID-19 pandemic is worst event in the recent history of mankind after second World war. This pandemic has not only rendered humans powerless, it has apparently shifted the balance of power in globalized economy in ever increasing militarized world. The “Coronacene” might well be as worthy of attention as the “Anthropocene.”

According to WHO (2011), health is a state of absolute physical, mental, and social well-being and not solely the absence of disease or illness.

Definition of pandemic-

WHO- A pandemic is defined as “an epidemic occurring worldwide, or over a very wide area, crossing international boundaries and usually affecting a large number of people.”

Merriam-webster- an outbreak of a disease that occurs over a wide geographic area (such as multiple countries or continents) and typically affects a significant proportion of the population.

Medicinenet- An epidemic (a sudden outbreak) that becomes very widespread and affects a whole region, a continent, or the world due to a susceptible population. By definition, a true pandemic causes a high degree of mortality (death).


People always make all out efforts to remain alive as easily as possible within their ecological environment. The lifestyle of people and their activities are directly related to their bodily health. Only healthy people can only actively participate in any daily life activities. Disease is a condition that adversely affects our physical, social, and mental conditions. On one hand, people suffering from the disease are unable to do their daily activities and on the other hand, family members need to spend their time for the treatment of the diseased person. In this situation time, money and knowledge are invested to make the sick person healthy.

The origin and rapid spread of Covid -19 lies in tracing relations between humans and other species. The pandemic can be understood in terms of human behavior, mobility and response. The germ theory of disease trusts scientific theory for the multitude of disease caused by the activities of microorganisms, coronavirus caused COVID-19 diseases severely at the present. At a cultural level, the ecological equilibrium is established by the accumulation of knowledge concerning the relations between man’s particular biology and his environment. The focus must be biosocial perspective on both the pandemic and what it means to social distance (or physical distance). For humans, “not being social is not an option” and that when people are isolated, “bad things happen.” These bad things include physical and psychological harms. Epidemiological advice about social distancing is deeply at odds with values of community, leading to dissonance between received government directives and local understandings about vulnerability and protection from harm.

The nature of the current coronavirus pandemic, biosocial perspective also emphasizes human-nonhuman relationships, the role of Homo sapiens in reshaping Earth’s ecosystems, and the need to understand both the biology of the virus and the social context of the pandemic. Biology and culture cannot be separated when examining COVID-19.

Coronavirus contains a small envelope of glycoprotein at the periphery. Within the envelope membrane glycoprotein, hemagglutinin acetylesterase glycoprotein and spike glycoprotein forms a globular network structure. Inside this structure, nucleocapsids phosphoprotein are bound by the ribonucleic acid thread in coiled form. When it enters in the human tracheal cell and reach lung cells, the outer protein’s threads attach to the cells and penetrate them. Then RNA replicates vigorously, many viruses mature within the cell, and destroy the cell. They also infect other cells. Due to rapid multiplication and destruction of viruses’ fluid gets accumulated in air sacs, thus the lungs become unable to exchange gases and oxygen. Infected people die due to scarcity of oxygen.

  1. Physio-medical impact of Covid-19
    • high mortality
    • disabilities
    • physiological symptoms like pyrexia, myalgia, bodyache , uneasiness, dysnia
    • the long term impact on issues of aging
  2. Socio-pscychological impact of Covid-19
    • stress
    • the cultural activities are severely affected and people feel deep piercing all around the world
    • a strongly felt sense of being both in limbo and off-balance.
    • an autoethnographic account of grocery shopping the presence of conspiracy theories and panic shopping.
    • creating hysteria around the spread of the disease
    • people’s fears and control behaviors such as panic buying and hoarding
    • the sense of “imprisonment has intensified since the COVID-19 outbreak.”
    • shelter in place or stay at home assume material resources not everyone has
  3. Politico- economical impact of Covid -19
    • a sign of discontent with the political establishment’s response to the outbreak.
    • ideology and policymaking choices have shifted the situation from a quotidian game of dominance and manipulation to a life-or-death struggle in the context of long-standing structural inequality.
    • Due to the fear of coronavirus, immigrationis is restricted/banned.
    • changes in mobility have revealed the paradoxes of globalization. 
    • a significant reduction in agricultural activities, tourism, trade, and industries
    • rising in-enqualities
    • Monetary insecurity and uncertainty
  4. Educational impact of Covid -19
    • The shutdown of educational institutions impacts students, teachers, and families
    • economic and societal consequences such as student debt, digital learning, food insecurity, and homelessness;
    • in equality in the access to childcare, health care, housing, internet, and disability
    • intersperse learning, compromised nutrition, childcare problems, and resultant
      economic cost to families
    • urban and rural  as well as richer and poorer in- equality due to teacher’s capacity and effectiveness of training, ICT infrastructure, access of internet, people capacity to
      manage internet, laptop or cellphone
  5. Crime and impact of Covid -19
    • profiteering
    • black marketeering
    • rise in domestic violence
    • increase in gender-based violence within the quarantine period

The insights result in a set of lessons that people and governments could carry forward, including giving people “something to become vested in” and avoiding “amorphous and abstract” policy decisions. The social distancing mandate widely promoted as a frontline defense against COVID-19, pointing out that while the venerable embodied practice of shaking hands may transport disease it also can convey meanings vital to the survival of interpersonal and even state-level relations. The assumption of able-bodiedness in the “essential” steps recommended to avoid COVID-19 infection. By assuming the individual as the basis of wise and healthy choices, the common response to the epidemic misses the chance to envision social responses instead of individual ones. COVID-19 responses demand care for all bodies on a global scale, just as do coexisting emergencies involving universal health care, climate change and civil liberties. COVID-19 lays bare the need for everyone to have reliable shelter, health care and income — and the lack of those basic resources for so many. Insights about local “ways of knowing,” beliefs and practices “formed within a complex social milieu can go long way in management of this pandemic. It is better to focus on personal safety (as oneself, family, and community), complete social responsibility, and develop skill to adjust within their own local environment.

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